Landlords have been hit hard by the emergency legislation known as the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020, which came into force on 6th April 2020. 

The 2020 Act, amongst other things, increased the notice period to 6 months for a number of grounds for eviction, regardless of how long the tenant had been resident in the property or how high the arrears were for example.  The changes were initially to remain in force until 30th September 2020, it was then extended to 31st March 2021 and frustratingly, again until the end of March 2022.  I’m sure I am not alone and  have been waiting with bated breath to see what would happen next.

I’m pleased to report that on 29th March 2022, the Coronavirus (Scotland) Acts (Early Expiry of Provisions) Regulations 2022 comes into force, bringing an end to what many landlords and Letting Agents feel have been excessive notice periods before tenants require to vacate their rented properties. 

What this all means going forward;

The Regulations stipulate that some of the changes made by the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 will expire on 30th March 2022.

The extended notice periods, including the 6 month notice period which has been used in most cases, will no longer apply.  The original 28 day and 84 day notice periods will be reinstated, meaning that landlords can seek an order for eviction far quicker than they have been able to since April 2020.

Warning – Take Note

Although this is great news for many Landlords, the 2022 Regulations stipulate that if a Notice was served on a tenant prior to 30th March 2022 the extended notice periods will still apply.  In addition, you cannot simply send out a new Notice using the same terms.  If you try, the notice period cannot expire earlier than the notice period applicable to the existing notice.

Furthermore, regarding Rent Arrears, the Regulations don’t go as far as to reinstate the mandatory grounds for eviction, nor do they get rid of the obligations placed upon landlords to issue pre-action information and take reasonable efforts to agree suitable payment plans.

The Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill is currently before the Scottish Parliament and seeks (amongst other things) to make the temporary changes noted above permanent.  If the Bill comes into force, the Tribunal will have to consider, whether it is reasonable to grant the eviction order, regardless of the ground used and landlords will have to continue to comply with the pre-action obligations introduced by the Rent Arrears Pre-Action Requirements (Coronavirus) Scotland Regulations 2020, or a version of them. 

Here at Parkview Property, we have been keeping a close eye on the changes to eviction notice periods. Whilst we are pleased to report this most recent change, when it comes to Lettings Legislation, we urge all self-managing landlords to seek advice from a good letting agent, or a solicitor.

For more clear and understandable advice, please feel free to contact us.  We are always here to help, and our advice is always free.